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What Causes Asphalt Pavement to Fail?
Assuming that the initial asphalt pavement was designed and constructed properly, the primary cause of failure is the penetration of water
into the asphalt base. Oxidation of the pavement surface begins this process which caused the asphalt to dry and become brittle. This
oxidation leads to the erosion of the top layer of fine particles and the appearance of larger stones and small cracks on the surface. If left
untreated, these cracks grow over time and eventually allow water to penetrate to the base of the pavement. When water enters the base
of the pavement, the base material moves and settles leading to further cracking and an "alligator appearance." When the pavement
reaches this stage the only option is removal and replacement of the old asphalt, which costs the most.
In short, your Asphalt Pavement will fail because of Air & Water, unless you are proactive to maintain the surface & extend the life of the
asphalt. Like Death & Taxes, Air & Water are unavoidable to your asphalt pavement. Whatever the condition of your Asphalt Pavement
is, if you want to keep your overall costs down, you will need to implement a plan to maintain your asphalt pavement before it has to be
Sealcoat & Slurry is a mixture of emulsified asphalt, water, mineral fillers, and various other mixtures. Sealcoats are applied directly to
the surface of an asphalt pavement. It can be applied by rubber squeegee, broom, or mechanical spray. Sealcoat serves to seal the top
of the asphalt, preventing water from penetrating the surface of the pavement and protecting the top layer of asphalt from oxidation and
wear caused by exposure to the sun and air. Sealcoat also beautifies the pavement by providing a smooth, black, and even surface ideal
for painting lines and sweeping. Sealcoat is designed for off highway use where there are low traffic speeds and tight turning radiuses
such as parking lots, schools, etc. Sealcoats are different from slurry seals which use a much coarser aggregate filler and are designed
for use on high speed areas with straight rolling traffic.
When Should Sealcoating be Done?
Generally you should wait a few months before sealing new pavement to allow it time to cure. Hankins Construction recommends waiting
6-12 months before Sealcoating new pavement. After a surface has been sealed it should be re-sealed every 3 - 4 years or as necessary.